Cannoli of the day


(a photo of a photo)

Buono sera da Agrigento, Sicilia!

Posting via sms because the Treo's i18n GPRS roaming doesn't want to work.

Testing... Can you hear me, Major Tom?


November 8th

I went to danah's the other night and learned lots — getting folks together before an election to chat about stuff is a fantastic idea.


Don't Believe the Hype

Who else thinks Kevin Burton is building a stealth HotOrNot competitor?



It's posts like this that really have me digging Reader's podcast/mp3 support. Not sure why the image isn't loading though...


Monks (Bagan, Burma)

Bagan, Burma

I'm in the process of uploading all my old photos to Flickr - this is one of my favorites, from January, 2003


I love posts like this and this, where intelligent folks honestly ask for advice about something on their blogs and get great comments in return. A while back I ditched Bank of America and joined Patelco, thanks to a comment on Meg's post.

Vipassana Misconceptions

MTV.com posted an article about Weezer and Vipassana, and while way better than the Rolling Stone one, I just wanted to address/clarify a few inaccuracies I encountered:
"And in the interest of staying true to the tenents of Vipassana, he has abstained from sex for more than two years — a fact trumpeted on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in its May 5 issue."
The Code of Discipline for 10-day meditation courses merely asks that, as a precept, students abstain from sexual activity for the duration of a course. Beyond courses, it's up to the individual to choose which precepts (and level of strictness) to employ in one's life. Nowhere does it say no to relationships or sexual activity in day-to-day, non-meditation-course life.
"But the road to happiness wasn't exactly an easy one. Vipassana is one of the strictest forms of meditation, requiring all participants to adhere to a list of precepts that includes abstaining from all sexual activity and all physical contact."
Again, this is only during 10-day courses. Abstaining from these things simply helps keep one's mind clear and internally-focused — this is incredibly helpful during Vipassana courses, which are, um, kinda challening.
"Sleeping in beds is also forbidden"
I have no idea where this comes from — I've never not slept in a bed at the 9-10 courses I've done.
"...all who undergo a 10-day Vipassana retreat are also required to fast after midday, taking only tea or fruit juice for nourishment."
Not all - just students who've already done their first course; new students get to snack on fruit in the afternoon. This precept is there because it's easier to meditate when your stomach isn't busy churning through food...
"A vow of silence is observed, as one of Vipassana's main goals is a deep understanding of one's soul through close observation of one's own breathing patterns."
Yes on the vow of silence, but again, it's only during courses. No on the soul bit, however — I would rephrase it as, "deep understanding of one's self through close observation of one's breathing patterns and bodily sensations."

Update: See Rivers' myspace blog post about Vipassana (among other things).


Lasik: check!

My appointment yesterday was definitely Clockwork Orange-esque, but (OMFG!) as of this morning I'm seeing 20/20.

Here's where I went, and here's all the reading I did before my initial consultation.

Lemme know if you have any questions about how it works.


Cool Hunting: Spicy Thai flavor Kettle Chips

These are awesome. Chad had some on the bus the other day, so apparently they're stocked somewhere at the office. I haven't been able to find them yet though...

The EnderAudioVerse

Audio Renaissance: Orson Scott Card's Enderverse

If you're into Sci-Fi, I can't recommend this series highly enough. In 2002 I read Ender's Game in one sitting while I was traveling in New Zealand, and found it to be, well, stunning. Recently I heard danah mention that its audiobook was incredibly well produced and worth checking out, so I gave it a listen. (She was right.)

A Wikipedia search revealed eight (!) more books, and fortunately Audible has them all. The iTMS probably does too, but they'd cost a fortune there. (Audible has $20/month, 2 books/month subscriptions, except you're stuck with their stupid DRM — at least Apple's is breakable).

When I asked danah what to listen to after Ender's Game, she pointed out that for her, the Bean quartet was more satisfying — it takes place during and immediately after Ender's Game, while the rest of the Ender quartet takes place 3000 years after the first book ends. Though I haven't gotten to the rest of the Ender series yet, I've definitely enjoyed the Bean books.

There are also some Card interviews at the end of some of the books; turns out he's a huge fan of audiobooks (vs. print and movies) because the listener's mind is entirely free to create the author's world in one's imagination — there's no focusing the eyes on words and paragraphs (or on sensory-overloaded film).



Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC

Just finished reading this book.


If you're at all interested in the history of computing, do check it out.


I Gotta Say...

... it was a Good Day.

For some reason yesterday was a really good day. I got to have lunch with Neil Gaiman, chat with John Battelle after his talk, and meet Dr. Schmidt and AmitP.

Traffic kinda sucked on the way home, but I'm in the middle of a fantastic audiobook so it was bearable. Had dinner with Natalie, and spent the evening chatting with Dom 'n Mer while Jerry and Macky had fun.